Breaking Down the Strongholds in Your LifeBy Ben Cerullo
Note: Ben Cerullo was named by Charisma Magazine as one of the “30 Emerging Voices” that will lead the church in the next decade.
Who said that being a Christian means living free of problems or struggles? Just because we have a relationship with Jesus does not mean that life will be a stroll down easy street. Life can be is tough. And as Christians, we will face many challenges.
Before we were saved, we were no threat to the devil. But when we accepted Jesus into our heart, something changed. We took up a new residence in the spiritual battlefield and immediately became an enemy of Satan.
We live in two worlds - the natural world and the spiritual world. Both are going on around us, yet one we can see, and the other we cannot.
When we find ourselves faced with battles or temptations in our lives, we must realize that there is much more going on than what we see with our natural eyes. Many battles, struggles and trials are rooted in the spiritual realm. As a result, war must be waged on the spiritual battlefield and fought with spiritual weapons.
Take depression for example. Millions of people in the U.S. are diagnosed with clinical depression every year. I have faced it in my own life. However, depression is often a spiritual condition. Please don’t take this wrong, I am not against doctors or medicine. In some cases, depression stems from physiological or chemical issues. But many times, depression is a spirit. And to overcome, not just mask the issue, we must look at the root and declare war! We must fight with the weapons that God provides.
Depression is only one example of a stronghold. Others include addiction, sickness, poverty, hatred, bitterness, gossip, etc. But, God is a good God and would never leave us defenseless or send us into battle unequipped. He has given us the most powerful weapon in the world, His Word.
The Bible is referred to as the sword of the spirit and for good reason. God’s Word is the ultimate authority over the lies of the enemy. There is something that happens when we put God’s Word in our mouth and begin to point it at the enemy. God’s Word will dethrone principalities and release the power needed to stand your ground. Remember you are not in a fight for victory; victory is already yours. You are just enforcing it!
The only way to fight on the spiritual battlefield and gain true victory over the enemy is through the truth written in God’s Word. I am not speaking about your everyday prayers, but prayers that aggressively target and pierce the root of the problem. Prayers and declarations that strip the enemy of any authority or rights he may currently possess and give God permission to move on your behalf.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 it says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
Our spiritual weapons are mighty in God to overcome the strongholds of the devil. Your battles will only be won in the prayer closet through head-on confrontation. You have been given dominion over the strongholds in your life, through the truth of God’s Word. In exercising this authority, you let the enemy know that he no longer has permission to harass you.
Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
You see, the devil is a liar. That’s his nature. Scripture tells us that he is “the father of lies.” From childhood, we learn to believe his lies. Lies about God, lies about the world, lies about other people, lies about our own selves. Yet God wants to bring circumstances in our lives that uncover those lies in order to replace them with His truth.
Ask God to show you the lies that he wants to bring to light. Maybe you know the root, maybe you don’t have a clue. The good news is that there is someone who does, and He’s just a prayer away. If you pray and ask the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the root of the lies in your life. You don’t have to go through a long ritual, simply pray and open your heart and ask God to show you.
Be patient, the answer might not come right away, but if you will wait on the Lord, He will bring you the answer. So many times, we want our answer at microwave speed, right now! But if we really want freedom and breakthrough we have to be willing to persist. Patience is not a virtue that comes easy for me; I have to really work at it, as I am sure many of you do as well. But if you do not grow frustrated or give up, you will be able to face the lie and replace it with the truth – and the truth will set you free!
When you seek the Lord, try to find a quiet place where you can block out the distractions around you. Just ask and wait. Soak in His presence. Enter into worship. Try not to do all the talking; just be still and listen. As you do, you may get a picture in your mind, a thought, memory, or impression. God reveals things to people in many ways. When He reveals the root to you, it’s time to allow the His spirit to heal you. This may mean it is the time to shift gears and confront the stronghold with the Word of God. Don’t be afraid to stand toe to toe with the enemy. He has something that belongs to you. Step up and let him know that he has no rights in your situation or life.
Remember greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. In the name of Jesus, pull that stronghold down. You need to go past the surface and rebuke the enemy at the root of the issue. Let the devil, powers, principalities, and rulers of darkness know who is in control. You must move into an offensive position, this is no time for defense. Speak to your circumstances as a child of the King and joint heir with Christ. Your words create your realities don’t take them lightly.
Don’t stop pressing in until the victory is won. As a Christian, you have the power over the devil, but he’s not going to give in without a fight. You must realize the authority God has given you and lay an ax to the root of your needs.
I pray that God will give you a revelation of the spiritual weapons He has given you as a believer. I pray you will be empowered with wisdom and discernment on how to use those weapons. I pray that the warrior inside of you will awaken and the anointing of Almighty God will breakthrough the natural and pull down the strongholds in your life and the lives of those around you, setting the captives free.